3 Things I Can Do to Be a Better Ally

What has been going on this week in America has been appalling. Truth be told, there needs to be a word for when anger and heartbreak come together. My heart is breaking knowing that black lives are dying at the hands of racists, especially when those hands have sworn to serve and protect. I’m angry that the generation before me didn’t educate us better and ultimately, contributed to sustaining systematic racism. I’m angry that we even have to have these conversations…but we absolutely need to and anyone who’s white (myself included), needs to listen.

If you’re like me, you refuse to sit idly by…but let’s be honest. This week has been overwhelming for everyone. I want to commit to taking some time away from social media because that, along with Covid-19, is taking a serious toll. However, before I do, I wanted to share some resources for those who want to do better, but need to be pointed in the right direction. Like me.

Your friends (hopefully), favourite celebrities (hopefully), and politicians (hopefully) are sharing ways that you can help take action by donating, advocating, and educating. For my white friends, click those links, take action and educate yourself and how we need to rewire our brains to be better allies. We haven’t done enough and this is on us. We can’t repeat the actions and have the deep-rooted mindsets of our ancestors…this is the time to change history.
*Please note, I have tried to simplify this as much as possible but I’m aware that what’s going on is far from that. I will update this post with more resources as I see them, but if you have any recommendations, please share in the comments.

First off, please read this article to better understand what it REALLY means to be an ally. Action is required of of an ally, so here’s a fantastic guide as to what you can do to step up to the plate.

Where you can donate…

  • Reclaim the Block– Reclaim the Block is a community coalition representing activists, organizers, faith and community leaders united by the demand that Minneapolis divest from policing and invest in long-term alternatives that would decrease the scope of MPD and promote healthier, safer, more diverse communities.
    *Reclaim the Block has noted the outpouring support they’ve received and with that, have compiled a list of other organizations in Minneapolis that are doing “
    powerful work to keep people safe in the streets, defend Black, Indigenous and other targeted communities from the police and white supremacists, rebuild our city, feed people, offer healing support, build long-term infrastructure to keep us safe without the police, and so much more.” Click here for this list
  • Campaign Zero – This organization hits the nail on every issue that I am concerned about and I wasn’t on the website long before I clicked, ‘donate.’ I encourage you to check out this organization, scroll down their main homepage and read about the work they do (they are VERY clear about it). Spread the word and donate if you are able.
  • Atlanta Solidarity Fund – I’m very concerned about people who are protesting and getting thrown into jail for fighting for their rights. I’ve donated to this organization that assists with bailouts and legal-aid, but there is an entire thread on Twitter dedicated to bail funds in cities across the US.
  • Pimento Relief Fund – This fund is providing financial relief to “black business without insurance relief after white supremacists set them on fire during the protests.” If you ever hear the argument of “what about the looters” when the protests and riots come up in conversation (to hide systematic/Karen Cooper-like racism), kindly lead them to this website.
  • Minnesota Freedom Fund – I work in philanthropy and I could write a whole blog post on how much I’ve come to appreciate transparency within the charitable world. This fund has received so much support over the past week, but on their homepage, they are highlighting other organizations that need your help too.
  • Black Lives Matter – The official #BlackLivesMatter Global Network builds power to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people across the globe.
  • The Loveland Foundation – An “effort to bring opportunity and healing to communities of colour, and especially to Black women and girls. Through fellowships, residency programs, listening tours, and more, ultimately we hope to contribute to both the empowerment and the liberation of the communities we serve.”

Petitions you can sign and actions you can take…

  • Justice for Big Floyd – Being a Canadian, I feel really helpless whenever I see a black neighbour of mine being killed by those who have sworn to protect them. Thankfully, you do NOT need to be an American resident to sign this petition. It took me less time to sign the petition than it did to write these few sentences. You have no excuse.
    George Floyd Memorial Fund
  • Justice for Breonna Taylor – “One month ago, a division of the Louisville Police Department performed an illegal, unannounced drug raid on her home. Not a single officer announced themselves before ramming down her door and firing 22 shots, shooting Breonna 8 times, killing her.” Sign this petition to enforce action against the officers and change in the Louisville Police system. Breonna needs justice. Please sign.
    Breonna Taylor Fund
  • Justice for Ahmaud Arbery – I’m not sure I’ll ever get over the blatant racism in Ahmaud Arbery’s killing. Add your name and make those calls!
    Ahmaud Arbery Memorial Fund
  • Color of Change – This organization is a collective of people who fight to make change in their communities and across the US. Reading about their work, you can see that they are making real change in government by dismantling systematic racism. By joining, you will be notified of the work they are doing, their successes, and how you yourself can take action. Again, please donate if you are able.
  • Rachel Cargle made a great post on Instagram for those wanting to help, but don’t necessarily know where to start. This point in particular, is extremely important:
    Google whether your local police department currently outfits all on-duty police officers with a body-worn camera and requires that the body-worn camera be turned on immediately when officers respond to a police call. If they don’t, write to your city or town government representative and police chief to advocate for it. The racial make-up of your town doesn’t matter – This needs to be standard everywhere.

Educate yourself…

*I won’t be leaving links as I really want to encourage people to avoid purchasing these books from Amazon. Ask a friend if they have it, check your library, and see if any local bookstores offer it online for sale or if they have curbside pickup during Covid-19.

  • Spiritual Activism Online Course by Rachel Ricketts – “If you want to dive deep into how to commit to anti-racist efforts and get comfortable with your discomfort around discussing and addressing race and racism, join me for my SPIRITUAL ACTIVISM 101 Online Workshops.
  • The 13th by Ava DuVernay – This documentary on Netflix completely opened by eyes to how slavery never really ended in America. This film outlines the loopholes in the Thirteenth Amendment that has allowed slavery to continue through the US prison system. This is a great starting point and I can’t recommend it enough.
    13th (film).png
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo – I’m not great at articulating subject matter that I myself am still working on understanding, so I will leave you with this synopsis:
    “Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviours including argumentation and silence. These behaviours, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.”
  • Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis – Angela Davis is an icon for activism and social change. I first learned about her while watching the 13th on Netflix and was just in awe of her. This book was written in 1981, but is still (obviously) relevant today. If you are a caucasian feminist, I encourage you to read this book about how you can be a better ally to women of colour.
    Women, Race, & Class: Davis, Angela Y.: 9780394713519: Books ...
  • What Is White Privilege, Really? – Understanding white privilege is where we need to start. Here is a good article explaining what that means and how it’s so engrained in our society.

For my Canadian friends…

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